There is one way to make sure you wake up calm, happy, and happy every day, which is to adopt an attitude of gratitude.
When you become aware of the habit of expressing recognition for your life, the universe listens and responds with more love. Let me explain … this doesn’t mean you’re a bad man if you don’t see well on a bad day.
Life is far from ideal. Sometimes things happen that make us react negatively. Occasionally you can have fun. However, this does not affect your mental and emotional well-being.
An attitude of gratitude forces you to get out of your problems and look at the big picture. In turn, you are in a better position to jump forward when life problems arise.
What is the attitude of gratitude?
An attitude of gratitude means that you act from a place of abundance rather than a place of scarcity and fear. Each of us always has a choice that he wants to focus on.
Grateful people thank you for everything in life, even on days when nothing is going well.
For an attitude of gratitude to become a permanent habit, the basis of feelings of gratitude must be independent of the circumstances.
Even on days when nothing seems to be going well, you have to find a positive side and thank you for what works.
As Melody Beattie says:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. Put what we have in sufficient and more. Turn denial into acceptance, chaos in order, confusion into clarity. ‘
Why is gratitude important?
We all know how important a positive attitude is. They teach us to see the world as a half-full glass, not half empty. There are good reasons to adopt this way of thinking.
Research shows that when you express gratitude, it increases your happiness by 25%. If you take a moment to be thankful for what you have, rather than thinking about what you don’t have, it fulfills you.
If gratitude is so good for your mental and emotional health, why do so many people try to practice it? As humans, we are programmed to live or to focus on evil.
Psychologists have found that negative events have a greater impact on our brains than positive ones known as negative attitudes.
As a result, many people avoid gratitude, which is an essential precursor to happiness. As Lewis Howes says:
“If you focus on what you have, you always have more. If you focus on what you don’t have, you never tire of it. ‘
4 easy ways to develop a grateful attitude
Let’s take a look at 4 easy ways to develop a grateful attitude.
1. Keep a Gratitude journal.
Now, if someone asks you why you are grateful, can you answer without thinking?
We often experience things for which we should be thankful to forget them the next day. That is why you should write what you are grateful for. By doing this, you rewrite your brain to focus on what’s good.
Gratitude journals are the habit of recording and thinking about things (usually three) for which you are regularly grateful.
When it comes to practicing gratitude, consistency is key. Start journaling every day, preferably in the morning. It is a great way to start the day with a grateful heart.
2. Express your gratitude
After developing an elegant attitude, you can freely share this love with others. How often do you take the time to tell the people in your life how much they mean to you?
Research shows that at a time when people try to express gratitude, they experience more positive emotions and more often help and feel connected to others.
Think about the people in your life who have had a positive impact on you. Contact us and tell us how much you appreciate them. There are many ways to express gratitude.
Start writing thank you notes to everyone who helped you on your journey, give meaningful compliments, and celebrate the joy of others as if they were yours too. Now we must rise and inspire more than ever.
3. Celebrate the little things
We are conditioned to focus on our great accomplishments and celebrate them rather than small gains. However, if you don’t ignore the little things and don’t stop rushing from one to the other, you’ll quickly become unmotivated.
Who you become depends on the end goal. Rather, it depends on the person who is on the path to success.
When you celebrate small things, what you do celebrates your habits.
Take time to stop, slow down, and enjoy little things. Rather than obsessing about the future or thinking about the past, be more aware of the present moment. You have nothing else. Enjoy
4. Meditate on gratitude
Meditation is a powerful exercise in self-awareness. The goal is not to silence your thoughts. Rather, it is to become your active observer. The meditation process is for the mind to do its own thing and accept them as they are.
I have always struggled with meditation. Sitting quietly for a long time is none of my business. However, when I started combining meditation with gratitude, the game changed.
I started the process of transforming my inner and outer world. Today, meditation has become an indispensable ritual in my life.
Through meditation, we can rebuild and reconnect parts of our brain to improve positive qualities, such as concentration and decision-making, and reduce less positive ones, such as anxiety and stress.
By controlling the mind, you control your emotions. Suddenly, everything in your life flows more easily. You become less reactive and are able to face the challenges of living gracefully.
The beauty of gratitude meditation is that you can practice it anywhere. Take a few minutes each day to think about the things and people you are grateful for.
If you have never tried meditation before, this guide is for you: Learn to Meditate in 5 Steps (The Beginner’s Guide)
Notice the mood swings immediately. it’s powerful.
It is never too late to develop an elegant attitude.
What are you grateful for? Thanks for what it is every day. Life is beautiful to Take your time and I appreciate it. Gratitude has the power to transform your whole life.
Our attitude is defined by the way we think and feel about life. It all begins with the way we see the world—which triggers a reaction, response, or behavior. Developing an “attitude of gratitude,” or seeing the world in such a way that spawns a thankful heart, produces many positive results.
Studies in what has become known as the “science of gratitude,” show that being grateful helps us feel more alive, promotes better sleep, fortifies our immune system, and even influences our looks. In short, grateful people are friendlier, healthier, happier, and even more attractive.
If you’re having trouble developing this habit in your life, then here are five suggestions to help you master an attitude of gratitude:
Develop the habit of “looking up.”
We live in a world where we look downward while we text on phones, check our email, view iPads, or even when we walk. Much of the news is centered on looking at the downside of life and what’s wrong on this planet. How much better would life be if we remember from time to time to look up, look outward, and look heavenward?
Years ago—before email, text, and Facebook connections—we moved our young family from Arizona to Michigan. My ninth-grader had to leave a lot of her friends, which created quite a bit of stress. When she came home each day from school, she would look down at the table or the desk for snail mail from her friends. I decided this might make a good teaching moment for her.
Since my wife and I were the ones who normally picked up the mail, we placed the letters and cards in high places in our home—a hanging light fixture, a high fireplace mantel, the top of a picture frame on the wall. This helped teach our daughter to “look up”—that’s where we find happy things. Looking heavenward can bring happiness. Heavenly Father wants us to notice His blessings by looking to Him. At our house, “looking up” stuck! It’s helped us be more thankful.
Start a gratitude journal or a tender mercy board in your home.
Anything that helps us to put our busy lives on pause—long and often enough to count and chronicle our blessings—will go a long way in developing an attitude of gratitude. On a daily basis, find a way to pause and take in these blessings.
Ask yourself: Where did I see God’s hand today? What happened for which I am thankful? How were even the tough moments of the day a blessing in disguise?
Writing and remembering blessings every day will make you more aware of His hand in your life. Maybe even try switching up your individual or family prayers, at least for a while. The morning prayer could be focused on asking for blessings that you or the family needs and the evening prayer could be centered on giving thanks.
Have you ever tried to offer a prayer of 100% gratitude? Not asking for anything? It surely makes you think about your long list of blessings, which can often seem overwhelming.
Make a list of all the people you are grateful for.
Take some time and make a list of all the people in your life that have changed your life for the better. As you make the list, write a few notes by their name stating why they are special to you and what they did that qualifies them to be on your list.
Go back as far as you can remember—teachers, friends, advisors, grandparents, parents, siblings, and anyone who touched your life for good. Make it an open list that can grow as you remember more experiences or meet new people.
This practice can be a great energizer to your life. God blesses us with spiritual and literal brothers and sisters who make a difference in our lives. Remembering them develops thankful threads in our hearts and minds.
Make a list of all the enriching experiences in your life.
Let your mind wander from your earliest recollections to what happened in recent days. What experiences, both hard and joyful, have blessed your life? Make a list and add a description of what the experience taught you and how you’ve become a better person for having lived it.
Be sure to include the adversities that made you stronger. Remember those special experiences which magnified your testimony or lifted your self-esteem. These experiences enlighten our view and generate gratitude in our lives.
Make a list of people you need to forgive.
Every major religion teaches about the renewing power of forgiving and letting go. The wellspring of gratitude is sometimes dammed in our minds when we cling to unkind feelings for others.
Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? It could even be something so simple as a sarcastic comment or unintentional slip of someone’s tongue. Let go of those unkind feelings and see what happens to your heart. We become more grateful for those around us when we do as the Savior does. He forgives us and expects us to do the same. Love for life and thankfulness expands in our hearts as we forgive and let go.
Perhaps one of the most important people on your list is “you.” Forgive yourself as you forgive others, and allow the Lord to break the dam and let gratitude flow to your heart.
If you need more help developing a grateful heart, check out more ideas in David A. Christensen’s book, A Thankful Heart: 31 Teachings to Recognize Blessings in Your Life.
It is that time of year when giving thanks is top of mind. The holiday season, and Thanksgiving in particular, causes us to think about all of the special things in our lives and express gratitude for them. This is a favorite time of year for many, in large part because we are surrounded by loved ones and visibly reminded of all that we have to be grateful for.
If you’re like me, you wish this feeling could last all year long. Just imagine feeling proud, thankful, and joyful on an ongoing basis, not only during the holiday season.
A major step in that direction is developing an “Attitude of Gratitude,” according to New York Times best-selling author Lewis Howes. Howes writes extensively about cultivating a grateful mindset in his highly-inspirational new book, The School of Greatness. As Howes simply says, “Life is better if you develop an attitude of gratitude.”
But what exactly does that mean and how do we do it?
An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike. As Howes puts it, “If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.”
Here is a menu of tactics (just pick a few!) he endorses to help develop this mindset:
- Wake up every day and express to yourself what you are grateful for
- Tell whoever you are with at the end of the day the 3 things you are most grateful for
- Tell whoever you are with right now (significant other, friend, family member, etc.) the 3 things that you are most grateful for in this moment
- Start a gratitude journal – Express gratitude in this journal every night by noting the things that you are grateful for, proud of, and excited about
- Acknowledge yourself for what you have done and accomplished in the last day/week/month/year. Instead of comparing yourself to others, give yourself credit for the big and small things you have been doing!
- Acknowledge other people and thank them for inspiring/helping/supporting you – oftentimes people wait their whole lives to be acknowledged (and yet it happens far too infrequently)!
If the gratitude process is hard to get started, begin by asking yourself, “What could I be grateful for?”, and see if the ideas start to flow. This is a mindset habit that is recommended by Tony Robbins in his book, Awaken the Giant Within.
Every day won’t be perfect, but focusing on what we are grateful for tends to wash away feelings of anger and negativity.
And in addition to improving mood, recent studies show that feeling and expressing gratitude leads to better physical health as well. Paul Mills, a Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, conducted studies that looked at the role of gratitude on heart health.
Among other things, he found that participants who kept a journal most days of the week, writing about 2-3 things they were grateful for (everything from appreciating their children to travel and good food), had reduced levels of inflammation and improved heart rhythm compared to people who did not write in a journal. And the journal-keepers also showed a decreased risk of heart disease after only 2 months of this new routine!
So try adopting some of the above tactics, even just one or two, in order to develop an overall grateful mindset. It takes a bit of work, but having an attitude of gratitude is one of the most impactful habits for a fulfilling and healthy life.
Here’s to Thanksgiving all year round!
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As Thanksgiving approaches, weвЂ™re focusing on the importance of gratitude! What if we told you that in just 10 minutes a day you could start feeling happier, more content with your life , and more appreciative of everyone around you? ThatвЂ™s exactly what can happen when you begin a daily gratitude practice.
By shifting your outlook to one of gratitude and consistently expressing your appreciation for your life, youвЂ™ll likely start seeing the world in a more positive light . This simple change in perspective is easy to achieve — you can start with an activity such as a journal entry about what youвЂ™re thankful for each day.В
Allow us to show you the importance of an attitude of gratitude today!В
How Can Gratitude Benefit You?
There are many ways that an attitude of gratitude can benefit your life. Studies have even shown that thankfulness and the expression of gratitude can have profound effects on health, moods, and interpersonal relationships.
- Relationships benefit from gratitude: Feeling and expressing gratitude can help build and strengthen relationships of all kinds. Gratitude helps you connect with others, and makes others feel appreciated by you.
- Gratitude boosts self-esteem: Focusing on all the good things about yourself can help you appreciate who you are. Having gratitude for your strengths helps to boost self-esteem. While everything about ourselves may not be perfect, being aware of what weвЂ™re great at and giving ourselves thanks and recognition is powerful for boosting self-esteem.
- Health benefits of gratitude : Surprisingly, an attitude of gratitude has been found to help with sleep, anxiousness and stress levels, and other health benefits! Gratitude creates a surge of brain chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, and these chemicals make you happy. Focusing on the good things in life helps release negative emotions.В
- Satisfaction with your life: One of the keys to enjoying life is appreciating what you have! It is important to take stock of your experiences, the joys in your life, and all the good things that you already have. Continuously reminding yourself of what you already have, instead of focusing on what you donвЂ™t, can bring more happiness and satisfaction to your life.
Learn more about the emotion of gratitude on our blog: Defining Emotions: Gratitude
How to Start a Gratitude Practice
By focusing on the positive, you invite more positivity into your life. Gratitude is a habit you can cultivate, like brushing your teeth or drinking enough water! By taking time each and every day to focus on gratitude for all that you have, youвЂ™ll start to appreciate the gifts in your life even more.
There are many different ways to start a gratitude practice, but one of the simplest is to try gratitude journaling. All you need in order to get started is a piece of paper and a pen. You might choose a nice journal to write in each day. There are some journals that are created with gratitude prompts already included that might make it easier to begin. Then, simply start by writing down a few things youвЂ™re grateful for. Go into as much detail as you can. If you feel stumped getting started, thatвЂ™s okay, give yourself time. As you practice gratitude more frequently, youвЂ™ll likely be able to identify things youвЂ™re grateful for with ease. By shifting your focus to what youвЂ™re grateful for, youвЂ™ll start to see all the blessings in your life more clearly.
Learn how an attitude of gratitude transformed the life of one of our practitioners: вЂњWith Infinite Love, Compassion and GratitudeвЂ¦ We Can Change Our WorldвЂќ
Below youвЂ™ll find a few writing prompts to get you started, all focused on gratitude:
- Write about a person in your life who youвЂ™re thankful for.
- What skills or abilities do you have that youвЂ™re grateful for?
- Write a note to someone who youвЂ™re grateful for (bonus points if you share the note with them!).
- What positive changes in your life have happened in the last year?
- What is something youвЂ™re grateful to have learned this week?
- What are you thankful for about the city you live in?В
- What does your body allow you to do that youвЂ™re grateful for?
- Write about something that you have been taking for granted, that youвЂ™re glad is part of your life.
Try this gratitude journaling exercise every day and see how you feel! Notice if you begin to become more aware of the good things in your life. As you take time each day to shift your outlook to one of gratitude, and as you consistently express your appreciation, perhaps youвЂ™ll begin to feel more satisfied with the life you live!
An Attitude of Gratitude is essential to maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
March 10th, 2020 is the day I moved to my home office for work.
When I “checked in” for quarantine in preparation for the Covid-19 threat passing, I had no idea how much my life needed this disruption to remind me who I am as a human.
One of my “best practices” I’m making time for is to write down three things every day for which I’m grateful. I have had dark days where the only thing on my “grateful” list was that the sun had risen. I also have days where I can’t stop at three.
Today, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I ask you to choose ONE thing you are grateful for and share it with me.
I’ll give you MY three to get you started:
- I’m grateful my teenage girls get to watch me balancing work/life (or not) so they have a realistic picture of what it takes to be a working woman.
- I’m grateful for the new round of Covid-19 memes because they are so spot on and I need to laugh. This is the list that hit my inbox today.
- I’m grateful I get to hug my mom today.
Related: The Ripple Effect – another reflection on this crazy year.
Life is far from perfect. Once in a while, things happen and we can’t help but react negatively. It’s okay now and then to feel sorry for yourself, but too much of that does nothing good for your mental and emotional well-being.
An attitude of gratitude takes you outside of your problems and forces you to see the bigger picture. This mindset helps you move forward when challenges inevitably occur in life.
About the author: Hayley Batterson is a Business Development Manager with Office Essentials. Hayley brings a unique approach to her clients by offering honest and transparent communication, “non-traditional” sales practices that focus heavily on client patterns and basic “golden rule” principles. In her first-shift job, she is both Wife to Matt and Mom to Delaney and Ryley. With her deep North Missouri roots, she has recently taken up urban agriculture in her current residence of Columbia, MO.
What Would Make Your Workday Better?
We can help you stay productive, connected, and comfortable from wherever you call work with a wide range of products and services including office and cleaning supplies, tech, furniture, and more. So, what would make your day better? (Remember, there are no wrong answers.)
Back in 1999, while pursuing my Ph.D. at NYU Stern, I spent some time working as a hostess at Union Square Cafe in order to better understand the restaurant’s organizational culture. On my very first day, I learned how to reset tables as they “turned.” At the end of the shift, a server came up to me and said, “Hey Susan, thanks so much for your help resetting those tables today!” I replied, “But that’s my job!” to which he responded, “Yeah, but the way you were setting them so fast made my job so much easier.”
It was a moment of gratitude that, 15 years later, I have not forgotten. My co-worker’s praise and appreciation had a lasting effect on me. I immediately felt that my work had a greater purpose: As a result of my doing my job well, a co-worker’s job got easier. His recognition of me made me feel included in the team–a sense of belonging that has stayed with me for years. I understood my role in the overall experience of our team and our guests, and felt connected to our shared purpose of creating remarkable dining experiences. Most of all, I wanted to chip in more–to support the team by setting tables faster and better. His appreciation brought out my best performance in my work because suddenly, I knew how much it mattered.
When I use the word “gratitude” with clients, they often hear me say “recognition,” and in their minds, immediately gravitate toward programs for systematically recognizing employees. While there is significant research to show the effectiveness and ROI of well-executed recognition programs on engagement, retention, and productivity, the reality is that when praise becomes ingrained in process, it can lose its soul. What I’m referring to is a sense of gratitude that is thoughtful, heartfelt, and genuine. It’s about a mindset of appreciation, and about setting the example of being appreciative by demonstrating gratitude consistently and frequently. It’s about being real.
Gratitude is truly a gift in the workplace. The impact of an appreciative comment on my motivation to perform isn’t unique to me, or to the restaurant industry. In a McKinsey study on motivating employees, 67 percent of employees indicated that praise from managers was the top motivator for performance, beating out other incentives, financial and otherwise. Better yet, being appreciative is easy to do, takes no time at all, and it’s completely free.
Today, as the leader of a small business, I take that lesson of gratitude into my work each day, looking for ways to show appreciation to my team for their contributions, their passion, and their dedication to our work. It may be as simple as realizing that everything you asked for in the setup for a meeting has magically appeared because someone on your team was taking care of you; or noticing that a team member chipped in to support a colleague who was in the weeds. Be a leader who doesn’t take these small surprises of extra effort for granted by sharing your appreciation. It’s about being specific and thoughtful, not generic or broad-based in your praise.
When you see that your team is working so hard to actualize your vision, it’s an important moment to pause as you realize that you couldn’t do everything yourself–you need your team to make it happen. In that moment, find ways to show your heartfelt appreciation for your team’s dedication and commitment. Not only will you make them feel good about their work and endear them to your company, but you will also reinforce the behaviors you want to see.
Continue to ask yourself, how often do I show my gratitude to my team? If you do it all the time–do it more! Find new ways to demonstrate your thanks. And if you find yourself coming up short, think about how you can incorporate more common courtesy into your every day. Your team will be grateful for it!
Trying to raise a grateful child during the age of instant gratification can be challenging. But as difficult as it may appear, it’s possible to help your children nurture their sense of gratitude. This article explores why gratitude matters and gives you simple activities, games, and exercises that can help your child develop an attitude of gratitude every day.
Why Is Gratitude Important?
In short, gratitude can make you happier. “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships,” according to Harvard Medical School.
Gratitude can also affect a person’s health. In a study, psychologists asked participants to write a few sentences a week. One group wrote about what they were grateful for that week. A second group was told to write about daily irritations. A third group was asked to write a few sentences without any positive or negative emphasis.
After 10 weeks, those who focused on gratitude were more optimistic, felt better about their lives, and even exercised more and had fewer doctor’s visits than those who focused on what irritated them.
To practice gratitude for others, children (and adults) have to take the perspective of someone else and understand how they might be feeling. These are complex social-emotional skills—ones that children tend to develop around ages 3 to 5, making this the perfect age to introduce gratitude into their lives.
Ways to Help Children Learn Gratitude
There are several ways you can help your children learn to feel and express gratitude. One everyday method is simply by modeling gratitude in your own life. Your children watch and learn from your own actions. Here are some other ways can help your child see how you express gratitude (from PBS for Parents):
- At bedtime tell your child what you are thankful for. Ask your child to share what they are thankful for. Try to think of new things each night. Expressing gratitude helps your child learn to look for the good.
- Children imitate adult behavior, so make an effort to say “thank you” in your daily interactions. You can also practice saying “please” and “thank you” with your child by playing with a favorite toy or stuffed animal.
- Involve your children in writing thank you notes.Take some time to write a thank you note to someone you know, and let your children add a picture of their own. As your children get older, encourage them to write their own thank you cards or make gifts for people in their lives.
More Gratitude Exercises for Children
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Many adults have found that keeping a gratitude journal helps them be happier by carving out daily or weekly just time to focus on what they are thankful for.
This can be true for children, also. Keeping a gratitude journal can help children notice and seek out positive things around them.
For children who can write, you can find gratitude journal printable templates here, or use prompts like these to help your child start their own.
Younger children can draw in a journal, or they may express themselves as children do in the early stages of development—through scribble writing or by writing letters that match some of the sounds in the words. They may also use invented, approximate spellings. In a journal, any expression is great. Focus on the ideas, not on the accuracy of the writing.
Start a Morning Gratitude Routine
Some simple, regular routines can help build a sense of gratitude. At mealtime, each family member can say what they’re grateful for that day. Or in the morning, children can start the day stating what they’re grateful for. This can help children begin on the right foot and set the mood for the rest of the day.
Make a Gratitude Tree
A gratitude tree is a fun craft perfect for preschoolers. Your children can cut out ‘leaves’ from construction paper, and write what they’re grateful for on each leaf. It can be anything, from family or pets to something they like to do.
Write Gratitude Poems
Reading or writing poems about gratitude is a fun family activity that can encourage a child’s creative spirit. Here are some poems about Thanksgiving that are perfect for children.
Make a Gratitude Box or Jar
This is a simple craft that helps children gather tangible evidence of how much they have to be grateful for. Any box or jar will do, but you can craft special designs if you want.
Each day, help your child write on a slip of paper what they’re grateful for and put it in the box (or jar). At the end of the month, or on a special day, your child can take out the paper and read each piece.
The focused activity for the Positivity Project this month is practicing gratitude. Why is it important to develop and cultivate an attitude of gratitude? Maybe my own recent story will help illuminate this.
Yesterday I was standing in line at the post office. I was especially happy because I had just one more day to meet the Christmas-arrival deadline, and I was the first person in line. It was 8:25 a.m. and the post office would open at 8:30. As I was standing there, a women with her arms laden with packages pushed by me, said excuse me and tried the door. I looked at her aghast. In a rather unpleasant voice (a very “un-positivity project” voice), I said, “They aren’t open yet; do you think I’m standing here for fun?” I saw the woman’s face darken and I immediately felt remorse. My inner voice said, “What is the matter with you? You’re the ‘happiness officer’ and that was rude!” I then smiled at the woman and told her she was welcome to go in front of me since I had only one small package. She replied that she just had to drop off pre-paid boxes and we then had a pleasant conversation as we waited for the doors to open.
Something important happened for me that morning
, I experienced the power of mirror neurons. They make happiness and unhappiness contagious. My negative attitude was reflected immediately in the woman’s face. How we show up in life and at work is important to pay attention to because that’s what we’ll get back from co-workers and those around us. When we have an attitude of gratitude, it will come back to us. And as you know, the quality of our relationships is the number one factor for our happiness.
People who practice gratitude are happier, exercise more, have less physical problems and remain more optimistic about life. Gratitude also affects intangible qualities like determination, altruism, energy, attention and social sensibilities, as well as the quality of sleep. The health benefits are so evident that research is showing clear links between gratitude and the prevention of serious physical conditions.
Here’s a sneak peek to getting a better attitude. 1. Take a walk, 2. Smile, 3. Say “thank you.” To learn more, here are 10 ways to practice gratitude today! If you’d like a gratitude partner, I’d love to support you in your development.
5 thoughts on “ Develop an Attitude of Gratitude ”
I agree. Gratitude can effect everything! I do want to learn more about this and become better at it.
I’m glad you were able to revise your approach. The holiday season can be especially difficult for many people. This is a season of busy, distraction, pressure and anxiety, being an example of positivity has a ripple effect that we don’t typically get to see.
I agree, having an attitude of gratitude is good soup for the soul! Being humble and thankful is a good attribute to have. It’s nice to be nice and thankful!
If there is one thing that has completely changed my life – I could honesty say its adding gratitude.
Gratitude is something you have to continuously practice for it to work – and when you do its life changing.
You start to see the beauty even when you are struggling with some things.
By: Madeleine Ortiz
When my husband and I decided to be homeowners we expected there to be some stress. We envisioned occasionally having to call the exterminator or repair a leak in the roof. Imagine our surprise, when within two months of living in our new home, we discovered a large mold problem, structural issues with the foundation, pipes installed incorrectly, and holes in the roof. I could hardly sleep– my mind constantly racing with thoughts of scheduling appointments, repair men, and huge bills. One rainy evening, when I finally settled down enough to watch a bit of TV, there was what felt like a small earthquake, and then complete darkness. A 60-foot pine tree had fallen in our front yard, knocking out power lines and tearing a piece of the side of our house off with it. I stared out the window in shock, anxiety flooding me.
It was too late to make phone calls to anyone other than the power company, but I didn’t feel like I could just hop into bed. I sat down at my kitchen table, by the light of a flashlight, and started making a list of things I was thankful for in that very moment. At first, it was difficult. What was there to be thankful for in this brand new house that was seemingly falling apart? But, soon, my list was filling the paper. My husband, homeowner’s insurance, neighbors that came to check on us, the mild weather so we wouldn’t need the electric heat to stay warm, my health, a fully charged cell phone….. The bigger the list grew, the smaller my anxiety became. The simple ten minute act of sitting down, being present, and recognizing all the things there still were to be thankful for had shifted everything.
And according to Dr. Michael Lyon, MD, the shift we feel from getting grounded and grateful isn’t a fluke, it’s science. He tells us that when we look at the research on happy people, one thing is consistently present: gratitude. “The amount of gratitude, the amount of time you spend being grateful,” says Dr. Lyon. “That is something that is really important. It’s part of being in the here and now. When you’re focused on the life that you have right now you become appreciative of things that often are things you take for granted.”
When you start to recognize how extraordinary the everyday truly is, the brain starts to wander to worrisome things less often. When the brain is stressing less, it’s easier to be happier – and to avoid things like junk food and emotional eating (among other bad habits). Make the conscious decision to get grateful, and you’re also deciding to be less anxious and more healthy.
If you need some help getting started in your thankfulness journey, try some of the tips below.
1) Start a gratitude journal
Every morning when you wake up, or every night before bed reflect on the day. List three specific things you that made you feel fortunate. The more detailed, the better. Try and see how many days in a row you can go without repeating an item. instead of writing in a journal, you can try one of the many gratitude apps.
2) Try a thankfulness meditation
Part of what gratitude does is ground us, so why not amplify the experience by doing a thankfulness meditation. Find a quiet space and a comfortable seat. Close your eyes, and breathe in, and think “I am.” Exhale quietly and slowly and think, “thankful.” Repeat for as long as you’d like.
3) Get in a grateful group text
Friends are great listeners, but be careful how much time you spend venting. It’s easy to get into a habit of complaining, especially when others around you are doing the same. Instead, start a chain of gratitude. Via text or even social media, create a thread where the posts/messages are only allowed to be positive. Watch how quickly your attitude and your friends’ start to change.
4) Say it out loud
Whether you’re in your car driving, out for a walk, or cooking dinner in your kitchen, and you notice something that makes you feel privileged or thankful, say it out loud. Start with “I’m so grateful for” and then fill in the blank. “I’m so grateful for this sunny day.” “I’m so thankful my legs feel strong today.” “I’m so thankful for these great cooking tools.” Saying it out loud, even when you’re alone, can make the sentiment more concrete and meaningful.
Don’t get discouraged if these strategies take awhile to become second nature. With practice, you’ll soon be on your way to feeling more grounded, grateful, and in control.